2017–present: Return to film, Dancing Queen, upcoming projects
Cher performing in Washington during her show Classic Cher, 2017
Classic Cher, a two-year, 102-performance concert residency at both the Park Theater at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, and The Theater at MGM National Harbor, Washington, opened on February 2017. At the 2017 Billboard Music Awards, Cher performed “Believe” and “If I Could Turn Back Time”, her first awards show performance in more than 15 years, and was presented with the BillboardIcon Award by Gwen Stefani, who called her “a role model for showing us how to be strong and true to ourselves [and] the definition of the word Icon.”
In 2018, Cher returned to film for her first on-screen role in eight years, starring in the romantic musical comedy film Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. New York magazine’s Viviana Olen and Matt Harkins commented that “it’s only at the climax of the movie when its true promise is fulfilled: Cher arrives … It becomes clear that every single movie—no matter how flawless—would be infinitely better if it included Cher.” She stars as Ruby Sheridan, who is the grandmother of Sophie, played by Amanda Seyfried, and the mother of Donna, portrayed by Meryl Streep. Cher recorded two ABBA songs for the film’s soundtrack: “Fernando” and “Super Trouper“. Björn Ulvaeus of ABBA commented, “She makes Fernando her own. It’s her song now.”
On March 4, 2018, Cher headlined the 40th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Tickets sold out within three hours after she hinted her performance on her Twitter account. On May 7, 2018, Cher announced the Here We Go Again Tour, which started on September 21, 2018, and is set to finish on December 19, 2019. She stated, “My visit to Sydney’s Mardi Gras reminded me how unique and beautiful Australia is. It’s been 13 years since I toured there so I thought ‘let’s do it one more time.'”
While promoting Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Cher confirmed she was working on an album that would feature cover versions of songs from ABBA. The album, Dancing Queen, was released on September 28, 2018. Brittany Spanos from Rolling Stone commented that “the 72-year-old makes ABBA songs not only sound like they should’ve been written for her in the first place but like they firmly belong in 2018”. Marc Snetiker from Entertainment Weekly called it Cher’s “most significant release since 1998’s Believe” and noted that “the album ender, ‘One of Us‘, is frankly one of Cher’s best recordings in years.” Dancing Queen debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, tying with 2013’s Closer to the Truth for Cher’s highest-charting solo album in the U.S. With first-week sales of 153,000 units, it earned the year’s biggest sales week for a pop album by a female artist, as well as Cher’s largest sales week since 1991. Dancing Queen also topped Billboard‘s Top Album Sales chart, making it Cher’s first number-one album on that chart.
The Cher Show, a jukebox musical based on Cher’s life and music, officially premiered at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago, on June 28, 2018, and played through July 15.It began Broadway previews November 5, with its official opening on December 3, 2018. Written by Rick Elice, it features three actresses playing Cher during different stages of her life. On December 2, 2018, Cher received a Kennedy Center Honors prize, the annual Washington distinction for artists who have made extraordinary contributions to culture. The ceremony featured tribute performances by Cyndi Lauper, Little Big Town and Adam Lambert.
During 2018, Cher used Twitter to announce she was working on four new projects for the next two years: a Christmas album; a second album of ABBA covers, following 2018’s Dancing Queen; an autobiography; and a biographical film about her life.
Produced by: Eugenio Zorrilla.